Saint Timothy - Feast January 24

St. Timothy Saint Timothy - Feast January 24

Saints Timothy and Titus were two of the most beloved and trusted disciples of St. Paul, whom they accompanied in many of his journeys.

Timothy is mentioned in: Acts, xvi, 1; xvii, 14, 15, 1; xviii, 5; xix, 22; xx, 4; Rom., xvi, 21; I Cor., iv, 17; II Cor., i, 1, 19; Phil., i, 1; ii, 19; Col., i, 1; I Thess., i, 1; iii, 2, 6; II Thess., i, 1; I Tim., i, 2, 18; vi, 20; II Tim., i, 2; Philem., i, 1; Heb., xiii, 23;

and Titus in: II Cor., ii, 13; vii, 6, 13, 14; viii, 6, 16, 23; xii, 18; Gal., ii, 1, 3; II Tim., iv, 10; Tit., i, 4.

St. Timothy has been regarded by some as the "angel of the church of Ephesus", Apoc., ii, 1-17. According to the ancient Roman martyrology he died Bishop of Ephesus. The Bollandists (24 Jan.) give two lives of St. Timothy, one ascribed to Polycrates (an early Bishop of Ephesus, and a contemporary of St. Irenĉus) and the other by Metaphrastes, which is merely an expansion of the former. The first states that during the Neronian persecution St. John arrived at Ephesus, where he lived with St. Timothy until he was exiled to Patmos under Domitian. Timothy, who was unmarried, continued Bishop of Ephesus until, when he was over eighty years of age, he was mortally beaten by the pagans.

According to early tradition Titus continued after St. Paul's death as Archbishop of Crete, and died there when he was over ninety.

From The Catholic Encyclopedia
Transcribed by Douglas J. Potter

ST. TIMOTHY 1st Century - The son of a Greek father and a Jewish mother, Timothy was converted to Christianity about the year 47 A.D., during St. Paul's first missionary visit to his native town of Lystra in Asia Minor, in a persecution so fierce that Paul had been stoned and left for dead (Acts 14:6-19). During a second visit in the year 50, Paul chose him as a travel companion to replace St. Mark (who had baulked at the dangers of these journeys, Acts 13:13; 15:38), and to assist Silas and himself in the work of evangelizing the middle east (Acts 16:1ff.). Timothy thus witnessed the first preaching of the gospel in Europe (Acts 16:9ff.). From this time he is mentioned frequently in the Acts of the Apostles and in the Epistles as one of the 'apostles' or emissaries of Paul, left behind in or sent back to the various Christian communities to watch over the growth of the faith planted there. About the year 51 he countersigns Paul's letters to Thessalonica, and himself journeys from Corinth to take them to the recently converted community. In 57 he makes a return journey to deliver the second Epistle to the Corinthians, and in the following year he is again with Paul in Corinth, sending greetings to the church in Rome. When Paul finally goes to Rome himself, in chains, Timothy is still at his side, adding his name to the letters sent about the year 62 to Philemon, Colossae and Philippi ('I have no one else here who shares my thoughts as he does, no one who will concern himself so unaffectedly with your affairs ... without his own interest at heart, but Christ's.' Philippians 2:20).

In the year 63 Paul seems to have been released from his captivity and to have taken the opportunity to realize his project of evangelizing the western world. In his absence from the east, he gave some of his former associates the more permanent function of presiding over the Christian communities, although they were not attached to any one of them in the manner of the bishops of a few decades later. Timothy was given such an appointment over Asia, and stationed at the capital of Ephesus. Here he received the two Pauline letters that have been preserved in the New Testament, one from Macedona about the year 65, and the other about two years later from Rome, where Paul had been imprisoned a second time.

It is from these letters that we learn most about Timothy. They are mainly concerned with the danger that faced the Asian churches (a form of the early Gnosticism and compromise with Hellenism, against which Paul had warned the community at Colossae a few years previously); but in passing they throw much light on the character of the man Paul had left to fight the danger. Apparently diffident and nervous in temperament, he is yet enthusiastic enough in his work to need a warning to look after his health. He is a man who knows well enough the sufferings he will have to undergo to guard the faith committed to him ('persecution is inevitable for those who are determined to live really Christian lives.' 2 Timothy 3:12), and Paul's repeated exhortations (many of which have passed into the liturgy) are inspired less by a fear of Timothy's defection than by the certainty that his own end is near, and that the helpers he had picked with such care must soon shoulder the burden alone. In his last will and testament to Timothy, he can only remind him of all that he has taught him, 'in firm resolve, in patience, in love, in endurance' (2 Timothy 3:10); and his final appeal, asking him to come and comfort his last hours, stands as the most eloquent monument to one whom he has called constantly 'my well beloved son.'

The New Testament contains one further reference to Timothy (if indeed the same person is meant) in Hebrew 13:23, where mention is made of his release from an otherwise unknown imprisonment about the year 67, and of the author's hopes to accompany him on a visit to Jerusalem. Beyond this nothing is known for certain. A tradition asserts that he remained at Ephesus as bishop until his death. The fourth century 'Acts of Timothy' describe his death by stoning and clubbing, and the unusual sobriety of the account indicates that it may be derived from a genuine source. Constantinople claims his relics (the Timothy who is buried by St. Paul in Rome is a fourth century martyr who was later confused with the companion of the Apostle), and his memory is celebrated on January 24th, in connection with the feast of his master on the following day.


From Catholic Information Network (CIN)